July 31, 2012

I want this kitchen! (the photo is by Menno Aden and here are more fascinating room portraits by him)

We came back from Berlin last night. (I took a million pictures and I'll share some with you later this week.) We had a terrific time and I had more good coffee than I remember having in a long time but I'm also very happy to be home. I wonder how my brain shall catch up at work tomorrow.

July 24, 2012

Norah Jones. Her music, her voice wakes something up in me like not many things can. Bliss, longing, serenity. I felt so alive and so very good.

In the morning we're flying to Berlin!

July 23, 2012

I got so many good meals on Rantakatu, mom and dad took good care of me and I met many dear friends I hadn't met in ages again. For once I had plenty of time to spend. Many idle days.

Mom offered me a ride down south; we decided we'd stop at every single fleamarket on the way. We missed one. We had breakfast with mom's aunt and lunch with Saara and Mikael on their cozy little summer cottage. What a special day. Thanks mom!

July 18, 2012

I've found myself loving and appreciating my family and roots in a new way lately (one of the good things that come with the age) and during these weeks here it has just deepened. We have spent good days in the country and here are some photos of our hoods and what we've achieved so far:

I love the short walk between Ahola and Suojala (a small one room house where my dad was born and lived his first year. Mom and dad bought Suojala last summer. It's taken a lot of hard work and renovating as well but it's nearly finished!)

I love how the wind plays in the trees outside Suojala.

Here's the bedroom after I tore the plastic carpet and the hardboard layers away. Underneath awaited a very unpleasant surprise: a perfectly annoying layer of cement that grandpa had applied in order to even the plank floor (we assume it's the original floor from the 1800's).

It'll take lots of time and patience to scrape and wipe the floor clean of cement. But I can already see the floor shiny white, it'll be stunning!

Henna and Markus joined us one day and we had a blast. We worked on the bedroom pulling out hundreds of nails that had kept the hardboards on the floor, Henna ripped of the wallpapers and Markus pulled down the walk-in closet from the corner (I believe the beautiful heater next to it is happy about it). Thank you for your tremendous help!

I'm dreaming of a wallpaper with roses or something for the bedroom walls. The heater, I believe, will be painted white. (The lampshade was crocheted by mom back in the day. Wouldn't it be perfect for the loo?)

Mikko and dad started pulling down the paneled closets and walls from the foyer.

Here's the sauna before Markus tore the benches away.

There are three granaries that will be bedrooms (I love the old beds!). Me and mom used two nights to empty this one; boy it looks good now.

We created a habit of ending the day with pancakes.

I felt so sad driving home from Ahola for the last time this summer. I can't wait to get back to work! We've really just scratched the surface so far; there's a ton to do but I look forward to it and I really hope we all (sisters and brothers and families) will get to spend days and weeks together in Ahola next summer. I love the place.

July 15, 2012

Henna is getting married in six weeks so we had to surprise her and celebrate a little.

July 13, 2012

Pauliina has a beautiful new home and we celebrated her birthday.

July 11, 2012

Everyday jubilations

Look at me, fix your eyes on me,
and I'll make every morning Christmas morning.
You just wait to wake and find yourself
running down the stairs,
the air filled with the smell of something delicious
and the house full of warmth.

Set your hands on me
and I'll make every night surprise birthday parties.
I'll give you the jumps every time you come home,
make you the center of attention
until you'll feel awkward getting used to it,
until you're forced to love yourself
more than you did
when the door handle was still in your palm,
turning slowly.

Samu Ainesmaa

A friend of mine just published his debut book. I got it yesterday, and I am so in love with his poetry.

July 7, 2012

I'm at Henna's for some days and the internet connection seems too slow to upload any photos, I'm afraid. I am eager to show you our first days in Ahola! Henna and Markus went out of town and I've had a wonderfully lazy morning/afternoon on the sofa under blankets. I had yesterday's leftover pizza for lunch on the balcony in my nightgown. I watched this on TV and fell in love with Jamie Oliver.

July 5, 2012

If I spent July at home I'd throw so many Garden Parties!

July 4, 2012

I had a friend visiting for Midsummer whom I hadn't seen in 10 years. (We met in YMAM back in the day.) It was incredible to share 10 years in one night and one morning; we'd heard the most important details over the years but it all became a lot more real now when actually meeting her. I loved having Eva over and sharing so much. It almost feels like I got a new friend.

July 2, 2012

I arrived to mom and dad's in the morning but am already well settled in the backyard.

Tomorrow we're going to Kestilä; I'll see Ahola (here's the story) first time since last summer, can't wait! I've been having so many visions and plans in my head throughout the winter and I'm so happy to finally start working at it!

With all this time in my hands (as much as I would've liked to spend some more of my holiday at home in Helsinki cleaning cupboards, spending whole days in the kitchen and going to all the cafés I haven't gone to yet, I'm quite pleased with a little break from my everyday surroundings) I'll be posting stuff from last weeks. The summer's been beautiful!

Hope you're all doing well!